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Guinea Worm Disease Nears Eradication

News outlets report on the progress of eradicating Guinea worm, saying that the steep decline in cases indicates that eradication of the parasite is reachable.

Carter Center: 148 Cases of Guinea Worm Disease Remain Worldwide
“The Carter Center announced today that 148 Guinea worm cases were reported worldwide in 2013. These provisional numbers, reported by ministries of health in the remaining four endemic nations and compiled by the Center, show that cases of the debilitating disease were reduced by 73 percent in 2013 compared to 542 cases in 2012. When the Center began leading the first international campaign to eradicate a parasitic disease, there were an estimated 3.5 million Guinea worm cases occurring annually in Africa and Asia…” (1/16).

HuffPost Live: Jimmy Carter Announces Guinea Worm Disease On The Brink Of Eradication
“A painful and debilitating disease which dates back to ancient times is on the brink of eradication, former President Jimmy Carter announced on HuffPost Live Thursday. The latest provisional numbers for cases of Guinea worm disease have reached a historic low of 148 people worldwide in 2013…” (Hamdan/Schuster, 1/16).

New York Times: Guinea Worm Said to Infect Few in 2013
“Only 148 cases of Guinea worm disease were found in the world in 2013, a 73 percent drop from the 542 cases found one year earlier, the Carter Center announced Thursday…” (McNeil, 1/16).

NPR: From Millions Of Cases To 148: Guinea Worm’s Days Are Numbered
“The world recorded only 148 cases of Guinea worm last year, the Carter Center said Thursday. That’s nearly three-quarters less than in 2012, and a tiny fraction compared to the 3.5 million cases back in 1986…” (Doucleff, 1/16).

Science: Guinea Worm Eradication at Risk in South Sudanese War
“…Next week, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was scheduled to travel to the South Sudanese capital Juba and announce that the world is now closer than ever to eradicating guinea worm disease. … But now that progress is in peril. In December, violence erupted between rebels and the South Sudanese government, leading the Carter Center in Atlanta, in charge of the three-decade fight against the guinea worm, to evacuate its expat staff of more than 30 people and cancel the Juba meeting. If the violence continues and spreads, it could wipe out recent progress in South Sudan and the region…” (Enserink, 1/17).